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Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

17. Weapons-systems  

Mike Bourne

This chapter highlights weapons-systems as a central aspect of the question: ‘Security how?’ Weapons are a central and pervasive aspect of the material, institutional, and discursive mobilizations of security. As such, weapons have long been both a tool and a measure of power. Weapons-politics reveals what we might think of as lethal legitimations: the legitimation of killing, the preparation for killing, and the distinctions (racial, colonial, gendered, religious, class, civilizational) that allow us to take for granted that killing is inherent to security. The chapter poses three questions about security and violence that arise through weapons-politics: Does the manner of violence matter? How are weapons controlled? How is weapons-politics entangled with other forms of violence and security? These questions show that weapons-systems are the materialization of violence of all types.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

3. Orders, power, and hierarchies  

This chapter discusses what it means to adopt a critical perspective to analyse security. It highlights the fact that critical perspectives share a common concern with identifying and transforming forms of domination and oppression. To identify how security may be connected to domination and oppression requires uncovering the logics of the socio-political order in which a security mobilization takes place. The chapter then looks at the different ways that we can conceptualize power and how power can (re)produce hierarchies through identities, ideas, interests, institutions, and infrastructures. It also illustrates how forms of domination and oppression made possible by security mobilizations can be contested and resisted.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

6. Policing  

Cédric Moreau de Bellaing

This chapter examines how police forces have become an integral part of most societies. It demonstrates how policing is connected to everyday relations of power and is reflective of socio-political orders. Firstly, the chapter outlines the historical and social processes that led to the creation of police forces and their connections to the early development of the state in Europe. It then explores the different ways police forces have been professionalized and the consequences of these differences for how police forces relate to the societies in which they are embedded. The chapter concludes by considering some contemporary policing issues: police reforms, transnational crime, and the militarization of police forces.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

18. Chinese Grand Strategy  

Oriana Skylar Mastro

This chapter considers how China’s grand strategy has evolved over time from strategies of survival under Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping to regaining its standing as a major power under Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and now Xi Jinping. It looks at the way Xi’s China has been particularly proactive about building Chinese economic, military, and political power and the way he has leveraged this power to make China a global power and a dominant power in Asia. In addition to external threats and opportunities, it considers how domestic factors have also shaped the contours of Chinese grand strategy. The chapter then analyses how debates about Chinese intentions, in particular towards international institutions and military expansion, colour perspectives on the potential impact of Chinese grand strategy. The main focus is on the evolution of Chinese grand strategy, its drivers, and its implications.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

1. Introduction  

Diego Muro and Tim Wilson

This chapter introduces the field of terrorism studies, which is the fastest-growing sub-discipline within the broader field of international relations. As a subject of study, terrorism is a cutting-edge field in terms of looking into how power relations are determined in the world today. Generally, terrorism studies have tended to see terrorism as a deliberate act of inciting of fear in other people. The chapter highlights the importance of accounting for the cost of lost lives while studying terrorism. The chapter then divides the book into three divisions: state of terrorism studies, debates in terrorism studies, and countering terrorism. Additionally, the chapter notes how case studies are used to examine concepts in relation to real-life experiences.

Book

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

Edited by John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson

Strategy in the Contemporary World provides a critical overview of both enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy. This text explores key debates and alternative perspectives, considers ongoing controversies and presents opposing arguments, helping readers to build critical thinking skills by assessing the evidence and logic behind various positions. The new edition has been updated to incorporate the latest developments in the field of strategic studies. A new chapter on ‘Chinese Grand Strategy’ examines the evolution of Chinese grand strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, its drivers, and its implications. A fully revised chapter on ‘Strategic Culture’ explores the concept of strategic culture as a framework of analysis used by scholars and policymakers to explain the international behaviour of states. Other fully revised chapters on ‘Technology and Warfare’ and ‘Cyber Conflict in the Age of Great Power Competition’ focus on how digital and technological developments affect strategic decisions. Online resources now include a selection of materials from earlier editions.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

14. Conventional Power and Contemporary Warfare  

John Ferris

This chapter examines how conventional power shapes warfare in the contemporary world. It considers the present and emerging state of conventional military power, how conventional forces function in areas such as distant strike and urban warfare, and how their role differs from that of other forms of force, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The chapter first provides a historical background to demonstrate the important role played by conventional power in war before discussing the rise of new world orders in 1945, 1989, and 2001. It then describes states possessing power and hyperpower, along with the revolution in military affairs and how developing countries may trump it through various strategies. It also shows how the distribution of conventional power is changing, noting that Western countries are in decline and new world powers are emerging, especially China and India.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

1. Introduction  

Strategy in the Contemporary World

John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson

This book examines strategy in the contemporary world. Part I considers the enduring issues that animate the study of strategy and tackles topics ranging from the causes of war to questions about culture, morality, and war. Part II deals with issues that fuel strategic debates, with chapters on terrorism and irregular warfare, nuclear weapons, arms control, weapons of mass destruction, conventional military power, peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and cyberwar. Part III discusses critical and non-Western approaches to the study of strategy and security that have emerged in recent years, and concludes by reflecting on future prospects for strategic studies. This introduction provides an overview of strategic studies, criticisms that are made of strategic studies, and how strategic studies relates to security studies.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

17. Geopolitics and Grand Strategy  

Stefanie Ortmann and Nick Whittaker

This chapter discusses the concept of geopolitics and its role in formulating and implementing a grand strategy. It first provides an overview of the relationship between grand strategy and geography, before explaining how the meanings of grand strategy and geopolitics evolved in response to changing world historical contexts. It then considers the reasons why geopolitics and grand strategy are linked to the politics of great powers and why these concepts are currently making a comeback. In particular, it examines the revival of geopolitical thinking after the Second World War and how geopolitical reasoning informed containment as a grand strategy during the cold war. The chapter also takes a look at the pitfalls and problems associated with formulating a grand strategy, especially in today’s complex international environment. Finally, it argues that there is a need to rethink geopolitics with the ultimate goal of balancing ends and means.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

12. Target Selection  

Alex Braithwaite and Ian Orringer

This chapter provides an overview of theoretical and empirical models of terrorist target selection. It references case studies on white nationalism in the USA, Spain, and the UK. A soft target is one which has minimally security, whereas a hard target will make use of police or an armed presence to provide security. An example of a hard target is an embassy. Empirical studies have found that terrorist attacks are most likely to occur in areas where there are higher levels of population density. Moreover, the location and timing of violent terrorist attacks are often highly symbolic and intentional and very rarely random. Terrorism, in this case, is regarded as a tool of the weak employed to help perpetrators to overcome power imbalance against a wealthier or militarily capable government.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

5. Terrorism in Context  

Adrian Guelke

This chapter explores terrorism in context. It is difficult to make generalizations about terrorism and outline exactly what causes it. Terrorism as a term is most commonly used to describe violence which comes from below and is directed at the power of the state. That has indeed been the dominant usage during the last century and a half as we have seen successive waves of terrorism. But the form that such violence takes has varied widely so that terrorism has developed to have multiple meanings across time and in different contexts. Context remains crucial to the development of an understanding of terrorism in its many manifestations. The chapter considers a number of types of terrorism as defined by studies including lone wolf terrorism, transnational terrorism, and international terrorism.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

8. The History of Terrorism  

Bernhard Blumenau and Tim Wilson

This chapter discusses the history of terrorism. Terrorism, as it is understood in this chapter, is the deliberate use or threat of violence by non-state actors in order to achieve power and implement political goals. Historical studies help us to better understand the sheer complexity of terrorism from the past. The chapter looks into the gunpowder revolution in Europe. It cites David Rapoport's ‘Four Waves’ model and relates it to accounts of the historical evolution of modern anti-state terrorism since 1880. Rapoport's work has become the dominant explanation of the evolution of modern terrorism.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

3. Realism  

This chapter examines the realist tradition in international relations (IR), which is best seen as a research programme with several approaches using a common starting point. It highlights an important dichotomy in realist thought between classical realism and contemporary realism, including strategic and structural approaches. After describing the elements of realism, the chapter discusses the international thought of three outstanding classical realists of the past: Thucydides, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes. It then analyses the classical realist thought of Hans J. Morgenthau, along with strategic realism, neorealism, and neoclassical realism. Special attention is devoted to the defensive realism of Kenneth Waltz and the offensive realism of John Mearsheimer. Furthermore, the chapter looks at the recent theoretical debate among realist IR scholars concerning the relevance of the balance of power concept and it shows that realists often disagree among themselves. The chapter concludes with an overview of how the different realist theories treat international and domestic factors.

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Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

10. Geography and Strategy  

Daniel Moran

This chapter examines how geographical setting shapes the conduct of war. It first provides an overview of the ways that physical geography influences the tactical identities of armed forces as well as their strategic effects, focusing on practices that lie at the heart of ‘joint’ warfare—in which land, sea, and air forces cooperate to their collective advantage. The discussion highlights the strategic possibilities presented by warfare in different physical environments—that is, land warfare, naval warfare, and air warfare. The chapter also considers the strengths and weaknesses of forces that fight on land and sea and in the air, unconventional warfare fought on land, the maritime strategy employed by navies, theory vs practice of air power, and coercive bombing. Finally, it analyses the strategic potential of space war, the expansion of war into cyberspace, and the use of ‘cyber’ weapons in information warfare.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

11. Major Issues in IR: Climate Change, Terrorism, Religion, Power and Hegemony  

This chapter examines four of the most important issues in international relations (IR): climate change, international terrorism, religion, and balance and hegemony in world history. It also considers the different ways in which these issues are analysed by the various theories presented in this book. The chapter begins with a discussion of what the issue is about in empirical terms, the problems raised and why they are claimed to be important, and the relative significance of the issue on the agenda of IR. It then explores the nature of the theoretical challenge that the issues present to IR and how classical and contemporary theories handle the analysis of these issues. The chapter addresses how climate change has become a first order challenge of international relations and IR theories, Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis, the influence of religion on politics, and how throughout history different state systems have come to equilibrate on either balance of power or hegemony.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

13. Popular Culture and Security  

Galia Press-Barnathan

This chapter explores the roles that popular culture plays in shaping and understanding security-related processes. It explains the different ways in which popular culture is conceived by different IR scholars and consequently how it impacts politics, and security issues more specifically. The chapter then focuses on the role of pop culture in managing conflicts (how it shapes basic beliefs about conflicts and how it helps sustain enemy images), how pop culture is used in inter-state geo-political competition, as a source of soft power, and finally, what roles pop culture can play in supporting transitions to peace, and in normalizing various types of understandings of peace.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

7. Law, Politics, and the Use of Force  

Justin Morris

This chapter examines the place of international law in international politics, with particular emphasis on whether legal constraint is effective in averting or limiting the use of force by states. It begins with a discussion of the efficacy of international law in regulating the behaviour of states, focusing on the so-called perception–reality gap in international law. It then considers various reasons why states obey the law, from fear of coercion to self-interest and perceptions of legitimacy. It also explores the role and status of breaches of international law in international politics as well as the functions of the two laws of armed conflict, namely, jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Finally, it analyses the apparent paradox of legal constraint on warfare in relation to power politics and the mitigatory effects of norms governing the conduct of war.